We have picked the best available talent – Michael Jayasekera
  Published : 12:49 am  May 9, 2017 | No comments so far | Print This Post  | 0 views
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By Shehan Daniel 

Having picked from the best available talent, Michael Jayasekera, Chairman of Selectors of the Sri Lanka rugby team, on Monday said that he was confident the team could perform well at the Asian Championship Division I rugby tournament, which begins in Malaysia this weekend.

Sri Lanka, who were runners up in last year’s tournament, will open their campaign against Malaysia this Sunday, before taking on Philippines and the United Arab Emirates next week in a bid to qualify for the Asian Top Three tournament.

“The squad was selected from the best that we had. The players who were omitted were players who chose not to turn up for practice. There were about six players who wanted to focus on sevens and therefore opted out of this tournament,” Jayasekera said.

“I think this squad can still perform and we are hoping and expecting to win this tournament.”

Jayasekera however added that the inter-club rugby season had limited the time available to pick a squad and train for this tournament.

“We would have liked a longer preparation period, and the time we had was far too short for a tournament of this nature. Ideally the club tournament should have been held a lot earlier to give us time to prepare.”

The team will be led by Kandy SC scrum-half Roshan Weeraratne and coached by Fereti Verebula.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Rugby released the names of 25 players who would make the tour and also six standbys.

The 25 member squad: Ashan Darling, Ashoka Jayalal, Chanaka Chandimal, Dhanushka Ranjan, Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Fazil Marija, Ganuka Dissanayake, Jason Dissanayake, Joel Perera, Lavanga Perera, Lee Keegal, Niroshan Fernando, Nishon Perera, Omalka Gunaratne, Prasad Madushanka, Richard Dharmapala, Richie Dharmapala, Roshan Weeraratne (Captain), Sajith Saranga, Sathya Ranatunga, Sharo Fernando, Soyuru Anthony, Taariq Salih, Thilina Wijesinghe and Umesha Madushan

Standbys: Damith Dissanayake, Gayan Jayamanne, Sashan Mohammed, Radeesha Seneviratne, Stephen Gregory, Sudam Sooriyarachchi

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